Every year, approximately 40,000 graduates from Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences are asked to answer a national career monitoring survey. The survey is sent to those who graduated from a university with a master’s degree or from a university of applied sciences with a bachelor’s or master’s degree five years after graduation. The survey is also sent to those who graduated with a doctoral degree three years after graduation. The survey is answered by just over one third of the target group. The next career monitoring survey round is currently underway.
The career monitoring survey produces up-to-date data on the careers, employment status and additional education and training of recent graduates and on how well their studies correspond to the needs of the employment market. The survey responses are utilised in the development of studies and career guidance, among other areas. By answering the survey, university alumni can help current and future students to plan their careers.
Finnish universities have a long history of collecting career monitoring data, with the first national survey having been organised in 2004. Universities of applied sciences, on the other hand, have historically been less systematic in their data collection efforts, with data collected irregularly and using several different methods. The national career monitoring survey being carried out in October–November this year is the third survey to also encompass the university of applied sciences sector. Organising the same kind of survey at the same time for both the university and university of applied sciences sectors makes it possible to compare results between the sectors.
Students of university-level institutions satisfied with their career and degrees
Of university of applied sciences graduates, 82% are satisfied with their degree and 85% are satisfied with their careers thus far. Career satisfaction is strongly correlated with how well the respondent is able to utilise the competence gained during their studies in their current job and how well the requirements of the job are aligned with university of applied sciences studies. Of university graduates, 85% are satisfied with their degree and 85% are satisfied with their careers thus far. The high degree of satisfaction is also reflected in the fact that 87% of respondents would recommend their university studies to others.
In light of the results of the career monitoring surveys, the most important skills needed in working life are the ability to learn and internalise new things, self-direction and proactivity, teamwork skills, the ability to cope with stress and problem-solving skills. Though there are differences in the skills needed in different sectors and positions, the aforementioned skills are needed in most jobs.
University graduates head to the Helsinki region – university of applied sciences graduates find employment in their local area
Universities and universities of applied sciences have different missions in regard to producing skilled employees. Universities of applied sciences produce skilled employees primarily for the needs of their local area, whereas universities are tasked with producing high-quality researchers for the needs of the entire country. As such, university students are also more mobile than university of applied sciences students, with the university sector more clearly producing experts for the Uusimaa region and large growth centres than universities of applied sciences.
Of the graduates of Finnish universities, 45% are employed in the Uusimaa region five years after graduation. The corresponding figure for university of applied sciences graduates is 34%. Of those who completed a university degree outside of the Uusimaa region, 34% move to Uusimaa after graduation. As for those who completed a university of applied sciences degree outside of the Uusimaa region, 23% found employment in Uusimaa after graduation.
According to the results of the career monitoring surveys, universities of applied sciences have a major impact on the education and training of skilled employees and entrepreneurs in different industries of their local region. The municipalities of residence of the survey respondents who completed a university of applied sciences bachelor’s or master’s degree indicate a high degree of regional concentration in municipalities with universities of applied sciences. Of those who graduated five years ago, over 80% found employment in the same municipality where they studied. However, the Helsinki region does attract university of applied sciences graduates as well.
Results of the career monitoring survey available for browsing
There do not seem to be any major differences in the results of the career monitoring surveys between the two university sectors. However, there are differences to be found between fields of education, meaning that the results are more dependent on the field of study of the graduates than on which kind of university they earned their degree from.
The results of the universities’ and universities of applied sciences’ career monitoring surveys are publicly available on the Vipunen statistics service. The Töissä.fi online service supports the career planning of job-seekers and graduates. The service includes a large collection of examples of professional fields and job titles and related career stories.
Links to the results
Vipunen.fi (University of applied sciences (UAS) education/University education -> Career monitoring)
Aarresaari.net Career Monitoring
Universities’ career monitoring surveys
Chair of the Aarresaari network’s Career Monitoring group
Telephone: +358 (0)2 215 4116
Universities of applied sciences’ career monitoring surveys
Project Manager of the ‘AMKista uralle – uraseurantatiedot käyttöön’ project
Telephone: +358 (0)50 5985563